le 3 novembre 2011
New York City is one of the most glamorous and impressive cities in the world. To many, and not just New Yorkers, New York is THE capital of the World. This fact is only accentuated by the presence of the most important financial center and the United Nations headquarters.
Aside from the impressive architecture, New York boasts a variety of colorful and gritty neighborhoods. Over the past couple of decades much of the place has been gentrified, but there are still many pockets of cultural diversity that, although far from glamorous, are an essential part of what makes New York so distinct. This is particularly the case with many ethnic and immigrant neighborhood that are to this day deeply steeped in their own traditional backgrounds.
It is this combination of grittiness and glamour that more than anything else symbolizes New York, and it is precisely this that the photographer Christopher Bliss tried to capture in 'Iconic New York'. How iconic most of the landmarks in New York are is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that the photographs in this collection don't have the accompanying titles and captions (you can still find them at the end of the book). And yet, I would argue that most people who look through this book will be able to recognize most of the landmarks.
The photographs in this collection vary in style. The book contains artistic shots, photojournalistic shots, and of course your typical travel and landmark photography. Some of the most interesting photos are the black and white high dynamic range (HDR) photos. HDR is ideally suited for photographs of scenes with a really high contrast in the amount of lighting. This is for instance the case with dark building in a foreground with really bright sky in the back, and there would be many such scenes in a place with high density of really tall buildings. However, the color HDR photos tend to look surrealistic and unnatural, and turning them into black and white takes away a lot of their usual edge.
This is a very well done and beautiful coffee table book. It is a pleasure to look at and it provides one with a fascinating glimpse of the Big Apple.